Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Pencils From A Six Year Old Kid's Vantage Point

When I was a kid in first grade fifty years ago somehow or other I always got stuck with the pencil with broken leads, which meant lots of trips to the pencil sharpener under Miss LaPolla's basilisk stare. 

I swore a dark and bloody oath-a strange thing for a 6 year old kid to do-that when I was grown up I would have as many pencils as I wanted, all sharpened nicely, and a selection of sharpeners to fit every occasion, Well, I may not have accomplished much in my life but I did this. I now have a lifetime supply of pencils and erasers, a banker's box full of new ones and about 20 or so electric sharpeners around the house. 

I even have a couple of battery powered Hitachi pencil sharpeners for use on the road-they fit neatly in the pocket of my knapsack. There's nothing nicer to me than the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil made from good American  incense cedar-even though most current day pencils are made of inferior wood, the vintage ones I have still smell good.

So take that, Miss LaPolla.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

New Dougloid On The Block?

I see there's another Dougloid out there, a fellow by name Danny Douglass from Newcastle.

We are probably as different as can be. I don't tweet or instagram, spend my time teaching school and fixing guitar amps, and I probably smell like camphor. The only tattoo I have is a blue spot on one leg that I got getting stabbed with a pen in high school. But he's got more style-and hair-than me.

My readers will note that this blog has been around for about 8 years now more or less.

I don't know how it happened but welcome Dan.

It is a title heavy laden with the history of my working life. That's what folks who'd made their bones at McDonnell Douglas were called.

Scabs never became Dougloids to my knowledge. Ron Williams made it his business to know everything about everyone. When we were introduced Dave asked me "Do you know Ron? Because he knows you." Ron could spot a scab a couple of hundred yards off and he'd say "Don't talk to that guy-he's a scab." The scabs had broken a strike back in the 1970s and people never forgot it.

After I'd been in the assembly shop for a couple of years inspecting hydraulic plumbing runs in jetliners and had showed that I couldn't be pushed around by the bosses, Ron Williams and Dave Montoya looked at each other and said "He makes a pretty good Dougloid."

I was honored. That makes three of us.